Lutfur Rahman supporters boycott vote for new Tower Hamlets chief executive
PUBLISHED: 13:29 27 August 2015 | UPDATED: 20:12 27 August 2015
Members of deposed mayor Lutfur Rahman's former administration last night boycotted the vote to appoint a long-awaited chief executive at the troubled Tower Hamlets council in east London.
The local authority has been without a director to run the council for three years since Rahman—barred from office by the High Court in April for malpractice and election fraud—refused to fill the vacancy.
Government commissioners sent into the Town Hall in December to go through the books finally agreed with the new Labour administration to hire a chief responsible for the authority’s £1.2 billion budget.
Both Labour and Tory Opposition councillors voted to appoint Will Tuckley, chief at Bexley Council in south-east London, to take over.
But the independent caucus that used to call itself ‘Tower Hamlets First’ refused to vote—after allegations against Mr Tuckley came to light from a now-discredited internet blogger.
The allegations were dismissed as “vexatious rhetoric” at last night’s council meeting after members were told the blogger had a far-right political record including standing as a candidate for the BNP and various other political parties. The vote to hire Mr Tuckley went through unopposed.
Mr Tuckley has been chief executive at Bexley since 2008 and was previously deputy chief at Croydon. He has also chaired a large housing association and led the London Serious Youth Violence Board.
He now takes up Tower Hamlets’ most senior non-political post, responsible for all council staff, leading on policy advice and responsible for running the authority’s strategy and day-to-day business.